The analysis of the conflict between the Russia and Ukraine with use of the maps issued by the Ukrainian Security and Defence Council gives very interesting conclusions. We can see there the situation from the July 2014, when Ukrainian defence was very chaotic. Ukrainian Armed Forces, thanks to former president Janukovych were in very poor condition and influenced by Russians very much. In such conditions it is surprise that there was any Ukrainian organized defence in the East. Nevertheless we can see very reasonable plans of operations starting in July and developed in August. Pushing Russian and pro-russian troops from the Ukr-Rus border to cut the support lines from the Russia and operations aimed in separating of the areas occupied by the enemy showed the basic tactical skills of the Ukrainian commanders. It was just enough for a relatively small number of Russian proxies (composed of Russian units and Ukrainians).
Fierceness of the change at the end of the August shows that it was much more than just another “separatists” offensive. Those actions were very well organized, strongly supported by artillery and attacked with use of very carefully prepared plan. That situation proves that through at least half of August, Russians prepared a massive offensive against Ukrainian forces. It was put into action with the last days of August. For the fresh, well trained and best equipped Russian organized units it was an easy fight. Ukrainian army was chaotically composed (filled with not trained volunteers), economical crisis and still high level of corruption as well as very poor command & control system caused that very tired Ukrainian army could not be a match for Russian first line troops. Thus the situation got much worse for Ukrainians.
The progress of the Russians was extraordinary fast. Ukrainians, even defending their own country, couldn’t stop them in open fight. That why the defence of the Donieck airport was a really heroic stunt. Unfortunately surrounded and shelled constantly by Russian artillery the so called “Cyborgs” were killed or just a few captured. Humiliation of those Ukrainian brave fighters showed once again how savage and ruthless Russians still are. It was stated by the Polish General Skrzypczak that he as the soldier was ashamed what Russian soldiers did – even as for a war situation. Always drunk and drugged Russian soldiers tortured and killed many of their prisoners. Some of them were mutilated before the exchange of the prisoners. Finally after Donieck, also Debaltzeve was taken by the Russian troops even when seas-fire was announced. It was another show-off how Russians are still mentally in the beginning of the XX century with no care of any rules of war an filled with some illusionary imperialistic imaginations. Time has stopped in Russia and they still worship a leader who “conquers the world”.
The next point for Russians and Ukrainians is Mariupol. Russians for proceeding with their plan of taking the whole south coast line of the Black See, have to take the city. If they succeed it will be much easier then to connect with the Crimea. Also Ukrainians, now equipped and trained by the US forces and also trained by the Polish and British instructors, knows, they have to stop Russian progress in Mariupol. The city seems crucial for further situation. We can be sure, that Kremlin right now calculates how many Russian soldiers will die, or rather, if it comes to Russia, then more important question is how many pieces of equipment will they lose there. The submarine Kursk sinking 15 years ago proved that for Russian leaders equipment and some illusory military secrets are estimated much higher than Russian soldiers lives (it’s a very sad ascertainment for me as a former soldier). To accomplish the plan showed on the map below, there is a need of open war in my opinion. It will be difficult to use proxy war for so large scale of conflict and especially, that it will be proceeded in much more hostile environment than previously.
For Ukrainians, to prevent this plan, they have to use not only military! They have to start the information war against enemy! There can be discussion in Poland of the limit of free speech liberty. But in the war conditions like it is now in our eastern neighbour it is completely different. Ukrainians needs to jam or disconnect Russian propaganda TV or Radio stations, ban internet propaganda pages. Influence society with their own war propaganda. They should spent a lot of money for that, because it can be more important than Polish or British instructors in Kiev. Ukrainians have the full right to do all of that, because they defend their own land.
In the same time there is no excuse for Russians invading Ukraine. All those who support Putin should know, that in European history there are many arguments for territorial claims. Poles have it for Lithuania and Ukraine, Ukraine and Germans have the same for Poland, Hungary could fight Slovakia because of such claims. But also Mongolia, Kazakhstan, China and Japan could start a war against Russia because of the claims which would be much more legitimized then annexation of Crimea by Russia.